SEA GAMES 2019:Favourites Philippines humble Singapore's cagers
05 December 2019
By Angelina Dass
Singapore’s men’s basketball team lost their tough opener at the 30th Southeast Asian Games to 17-time champions Philippines on Wednesday (4 Dec) at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The statistics showed the gulf between a professional team and amateurs, said Team Manager Mike Koh. Photo credit: SNOC
The home Gilas Pilipinas team lived up to their top billing, steadily pulling away after ending the first quarter seven points ahead. By half-time, the gap had widened to 20 points, score at 48-20.
Fielding an all-pro lineup, the home side did not let up in the second half and ended up handing Singapore a 52-point bashing, with the final score at 110-58. Philippines media are already touting their present national team as the best ever assembled, which says a lot in this basketball-mad nation.
The slingers are aiming for a podium finish after their bronze-medal loss to Thailand in the 2017 SEA Games. Photo Credit:SNOC
Singapore team manager Mike Koh said that it was a great opportunity for players to play against a “World Cup, Asian level professional team”.
National Coach Hsu Tung-Ching added that the numbers speak for themselves: Philippines converted 44 of their 75 field goal attempts and 11 of their 23 three-points shots while Singapore converted 24 out of 75 field goal attempts and only six of their 26 three-point attempts.
“The statistics showed the gulf between a professional team and amateurs,” he said.
Singapore’s youngest player Lavin Raj was the crowd favourite as they urged the players to pass the ball to him. The 19-year-old’s new found ‘fans’ went wild every time he gained possession.
Singapore’s youngest player Lavin Raj was the crowd favourite as they chanted his name.Photo Credit: SNOC
When asked what he thought about the fuss, the 2.01m centre said he is “extremely appreciative to the fans for noticing and cheering him”.
"They're a great crowd everywhere around the world."
The Singapore cagers are aiming for a podium finish after their bronze-medal loss to Thailand in the 2017 SEA Games. Singapore are in Group A with Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar.